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KU's Doctor of Philosophy in Gerontology is an interdisciplinary research degree emphasizing social and behavioral gerontology. The program prepares students for academic and research careers in gerontology, as well as for professional careers in private and public institutions and agencies providing services to older individuals.

This program does not offer a terminal M.A. degree in Gerontology. The M.A. in Gerontology is offered only to those pursuing a Ph.D. in Gerontology.


Degrees offered:

This dual-title degree is an option available to students who have first been admitted to a doctoral program at the University of Kansas (e.g., Communication Studies, Psychology, Sociology, etc.). The dual-title degree allows the pursuit of a single degree that incorporates study within a traditional discipline and training in an interdisciplinary field. The student is awarded a doctoral degree with both titles identified on the diploma (e.g., Ph.D. in Psychology and Gerontology).

The student completes required coursework in both the traditional discipline and in Gerontology. Many courses for each side of the pairing can jointly fulfill requirements for both programs in the dual-title degree. Nonetheless, the dual-title student may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements in both programs.

This option is designed to appeal to students who are strong in a traditional discipline but also motivated to study across disciplinary lines. Students can avail themselves of disciplinary depth and interdisciplinary breadth. The ability to claim expertise in both titles expands the employment opportunities of dual-title graduates.

Advantages of a Dual-Title Ph.D.:

  • Enhances employment and research opportunities
  • Addresses challenges of future demographics
  • Maintains disciplinary depth
  • Emphasizes interdisciplinary research
  • Allows research in gerontology with a dissertation focused on aging within a specific field
  • Networking opportunities through an interdisciplinary dissertation committee
  • Involves students in discipline-specific and interdisciplinary professional organizations studying the aging process
  • Acquaints students with gerontology funding streams
  • Awards students a degree in a traditionally-recognized discipline with an added credential in the emerging field of gerontology

Degrees offered:

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